the lowest estimate 5,000 strong, surrounded the town of Dalton, and after some picket-firing the following demand for surrender was sent to me under of truce:
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Around Dalton, August 14, 1864.
OFFICER COMMANDING U. S. FORCES,
To prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood, I have the honor to demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the forces under your command at this garrison.
Respectfully, yours, &c.,
To which I answered:
OFFICER COMMANDING CONFEDERATE FORCES IN FRONT OF DALTON:
I have been placed here to defend this post, but not to surrender.
Colonel Second Missouri Volunteers, Commanding Post.
After receiving my answer General Wheeler send word to me that he would wait sixty seconds for my surrender, of which no notice was taken. He again requested to see me personally, but though an old acquaintance by the Charleston, Tenn., thrashing I gave him, I declined the honor and let him know that we would have to take me first before he could see me personally. After skirmishing with the enemy for about two hours, my men were driven back to the earth-works erected by me on a hill east of the railroad depot and commanding the city, but unprotected by artillery. General Wheeler made forthwith a charge, which was gallantly repulsed, and a line of skirmishers thrown immediately after, which advanced about 100 yards from the fortification. General Wheeler again sent a flag of truce, which I refused to accept, having the bearer notified that at another of such a flag it would be fired upon, which, under my orders, was done accordingly when a third attempt to approach me in that manner was made. At about 8 o'clock in the evening the enemy brought up two pieces of artillery and fired several rounds at a brick house inside of my breast-works, which firing, however, did not interfere in the least with my skirmishers, who kept up their firing continually during the night. At about 11 o'clock the enemy's artillery fire was renewed, and solid shot and shell thrown into my breast-works and the before-mentioned brick house until about 12 p. m. From that time to daybreak the sharpshooters and advanced skirmishers picked at each other lively, when, at about 5 o'clock in the morning, I saw the head of Wheeler's column move out of town toward Tunnel Hill, and an hour or two afterward heard heavy firing in that direction. Knowing then that re-enforcements had arrived, my men were ordered to charge toward the Spring Place, and with an uncommon cheering they rushed out of the works and drove the enemy, with a severe loss to him, out of sight.
My command consisted of the following troops: 288 Second Missouri Volunteers; 30 detachment wagon train; 20 General Thomas scouts; 52 Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, under command of Captain C. C. McNeely.